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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Fun collection of book contests

There are plenty of sites and contests out there offering you free books and other prizes in exchange for signing up for their newsletters. However, some publishers and authors have gotten clever and want you to have fun with their sometimes memorable and unique contests.

Do Before You Die

Do you have a list of things you want to do before you die? Well, Anansi Press wants to add a few things to that list. OK, they want to add 100 things to that list. They’ve published Have Your Poo Rolled Away by Dung Beetles and 99 Other Things to Do Before You Die, Plus a Few Afterwards.

To get you started on their list, they’re having a contest. They’ve selected three things from that list. They want you to try one of them and send them an e-mail about your experience. The top 3 findings, as judged by Bob McDonald, host of CBC Radio’s Quirks and Quarks, will win a free autographed copy of the book.

What three things are they?

Extract your own DNA.
Weigh your head.
Visit Tuvalu.

For more details of the rules, check here:

But you’ll have to hurry. Entries are due March 15.

Cross Bones Contest

Simon and Schuster invited readers in 2005 to weigh the evidence and solve a mysterious death. To qualify for the sweepstakes, readers had to figure out who the victim is and determine the cause of death. The game includes a databank of evidence, a clue navigation system, a notebook, and a crime lab.

Several prizes were given, but the grand prize winner will have his or her name appear as a novel in an upcoming Kathy Reichs novel.

The contest is over, but you can still play the game at:

Scrambled Beer

Want a signed copy of Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes’ latest collaboration, Full Scoop? Then unscramble the names of seven types of beer found here:, answer a bonus question and you’ll be entered in the contest.

Scavenger Hunt

Perhaps a scavenger hunt is more to your style? Are you an expert at searching the Web and finding treasures no matter where they might be hiding? Then try your hand at Lori Handeland’s Crescent Moon Scavenger Hunt.

She’s hidden 12 items on several different Web sites. If you find them all, you’ll be entered in a drawing. The winner will receive a $500 gift certificate on the airline of his/her choice.

For complete rules and information, go here:


Nor are Webquests just for the school set. Adults might enjoy the Webquest set up by The Rule of Four. Filled with riddles and cryptograms, the official Website for The Rule of Four has two Webquests its visitors can take.

The Templars and Cryptograms

Random House is sponsoring a cryptogram contest in conjunction with its release of The Templar Legacy by Steve Berry. If you can solve the cryptogram before Aug. 17, you’ll be entered to win one of 100 hardcover copies of the book. And you’ll have some fun along the way.

Shakespeare Diaries

Why let Shakespeare monopolize the inner monologues of his characters?

For those readers still in school, there is an opportunity to win two sets of Bantam Classic Shakespeare Editions. All they have to do is write three diary entries from the point of view of one of Shakespeare’s characters.

Bring Out the Lyricist in You

Can you write song lyrics? Are you between age 8 to 18?

Random House is looking for original songs that might be sung by Louis Sachar’s Kaira DeLeon. Winners of the contest will receive an ipod, itunes gift certificate, and an autographed copy of Small Steps.

Contest rules are here:


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